Friday 23 March 2018

Nazi salutes, KKK hoods: Donald Trump will not be happy about these prominent magazines’ new covers

Time, The Economist and The New Yorker’s latest issues have sparked quite a response online.

President Donald Trump speaks in the lobby of Trump Tower
President Donald Trump speaks in the lobby of Trump Tower

By Kameron Virk

Following the violence in Charlottesville, sparked by a white supremacist rally, a number of America’s most prominent magazines have used their covers to focus on Donald Trump’s reaction to the events.

The latest editions of Time, The Economist and The New Yorker have striking covers drawing attention to white supremacy and fascism, with the US President featuring prominently on two.

Trump has been widely criticised for his response to Charlottesville, blaming the violence on those from “many sides”, while insisting there were also “fine people” among both the right-wing demonstrators and the counter-protesters.

In response, graphic designer David Plunkert came up with this cover, entitled “Blowhard”, which isn’t likely to win him any fans in the White House.

The Ku Klux Klan was well represented at the Charlottesville protests and the New Yorker cover sees Trump giving wind to their sails – breathing life into them.

It took pressure following his poorly received initial statement but the president did eventually condemn neo-Nazis and the KKK, describing racism as “evil” and those groups as “criminals and thugs”.

But just a day later he fielded questions from reporters at an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower and went off-script.

“What I’m saying is this – you had a group on one side, and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch,” he said.

“But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you’ve just called them the left, that came, violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.”

The Economist also featured KKK imagery on its front cover, which was revealed shortly after Trump sent tweets that would appeal to those who were protesting over the planned removal of Confederate general Robert E Lee’s statue in Charlottesville.

Trump lamented the removal of the history of his “great country”.

The centrist magazine, which wrote that any arguments in favour of Trump are now in “ruins”, said of his unscripted comments at Trump Tower: “He left no doubt which of those sides lies closer to his heart.”

The cover story added: “Mr Trump is not a white supremacist. He repeated his criticism of neo-Nazis and spoke out against the murder of Heather Heyer. Even so, his unsteady response contains a terrible message for Americans.”

Swastikas, confederate flags and shields with other white power insignia were prominent in Charlottesville – where there were reports of people chanting Nazi slogans “Blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” – and Time’s front cover drew attention specifically to fascist elements.

The magazine, which pointed to former KKK leader David Duke’s praise of Trump’s comments, said: “Past presidents risked everything to fight the Nazis; this one provided them cover.”

This design was by Edel Rodriguez, who’s done a number of recognisable Trump covers in the past.


A post shared by Edel Rodriguez (@edelrodriguez) on

He told CBC: “I think the one thing I was most outraged by is this idea that people are doing the ‘Heil Hitler’ sign in the United States after we spent five years and millions of people died to defeat that ideology, and here they are in the United States.

“At the same time they are wrapping themselves in the flag like they are the true Americans, and America First, white nationalist, whatever. This was almost like using a person for a flag pole … And now we have the President of the United States defending it. It’s gone to this other level.”

Trump and his team keep a keen eye on the media, a topic his tweets often revolve around, so don’t be surprised if any of these covers receive attention on the president’s Twitter feed.

Press Association

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